Victims of domestic violence say the cost of living crisis prevented them from fleeing the abusive partner

Victims of domestic violence say the cost of living crisis prevented them from fleeing the abusive partner

Two-thirds reported that their abusive partners use the rising cost of living and fear of financial hardship as a weapon for coercive and controlling behavior (PA archive).

Two-thirds reported that their abusive partners use the rising cost of living and fear of financial hardship as a weapon for coercive and controlling behavior (PA archive).

Nearly three-quarters of victims of domestic violence say the rising cost of living has prevented them from escaping their abusive partner or made it harder for them to escape, a new study finds.

The study, conducted by Women’s Aid, a leading domestic violence charity, found that the reasons cited by victims ranged from an inability to make a living off of a person’s income to a fear of being hurt indebted, or fighting for the upkeep of children.

Other problems included concerns that their benefits wouldn’t be enough to pay for the rising cost of living and that they couldn’t afford the upfront costs of leaving their abusive partner — such as new furniture.

Women’s Aid surveyed 137 women who are currently experiencing domestic violence or who have experienced domestic violence in the past year – with a whopping 96 percent saying the cost of living crisis has hurt their finances.

While two-thirds of respondents reported that their abusive partners are now using the rising cost of living and fear of economic hardship as a weapon for coercive and controlling behaviors. Over a fifth of victims said their abuser is using the rising cost of living to defend surveillance on their access to money — which includes curbing money on basic groceries.

Farah Nazeer, executive director of Women’s Aid, warned that the cost of living crisis for survivors of domestic violence is “devastating”.

“We know that domestic abuse and economic abuse go hand in hand, with abusers often controlling every aspect of a woman’s life. Rising energy and food costs, coupled with stagnant wages, will make many women more vulnerable to abuse,” she said.

“We urge the government to provide an emergency relief fund for survivors to offset the impact of the cost of living crisis. We also demand that the government grant discounts on energy bills to domestic violence services that provide life-saving assistance.

“We are fast approaching the winter months, when the crisis will only get worse. Survivors have suffered enough after being trapped in their homes during Covid. They must be offered the help they need to support their children and be free from abuse.”

More than two-thirds of victims said they were spending more and more time at home because they didn’t have enough money to travel or because they had to spend more time at work.

dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, founder and chief executive officer of Surviving Economic Abuse, said physical security cannot be distinguished from economic security.

She added: “A lack of financial stability prevents women from leaving an abuser, it prevents women who do manage to leave from rebuilding their lives safely and as a result many feel they have no other choice.” have than to return.

“The cost of living crisis will only force more victims into these dangerous situations. We have seen how the coronavirus pandemic is another vehicle for abuse.

“Abusers took advantage of the situation by gaining or increasing control over their partner’s finances and taking advantage of the financial instability caused by the deteriorating economic climate.”

Noting that this report reveals that “the same thing is happening again,” she urged the government to take immediate action to address these issues.

“With the impact of the pandemic still ongoing and the cost of living crisis yet to peak, the amplified impact for victims and survivors of economic abuse will be catastrophic.”

dr Sharp-Jeffs said her charity supports Women’s Aid’s call for an emergency relief fund for survivors, as well as cuts in energy bills, among other things, adding, “This can’t wait – the lives of victim-survivors are at risk.”

Between two and three women are murdered by their partners or ex-partners every week in England and Wales. One in four women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives – with domestic violence having a higher repeat victimization rate than any other crime.

The report comes after inflation recently soared to a new 40-year high, hitting 9.4 percent, with the Office for National Statistics warning that food and fuel prices were key factors in the rise. Millions of Britons are believed to be behind on household bill payments.

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